1

Sometimes when I have noodles in broth, there is little or no taste to the noodles. It's almost like the noodles were already "saturated" before they were put in the broth, making them unable to absorb the broth liquid which contributes to flavor.

  • What type of noodles absorb most amount of liquid?
  • what is the optimal way to prepare them so they absorb as much liquid as possible?
2

How much broth pasta can absorb is really a question of shape and how it was prepared, and not that much the type of pasta. The most absorbent pasta won't absorb anything if it was overcooked.

So how do you cook pasta perfectly and what is the golden rules

  • You should season the water, not the pasta. When cooking pasta, bring enough water to the boil to submerge the pasta. To that boiling water, add about a tablespoon of sea salt, not the fine salt you usually buy, that stuff just don't have a proper taste to it :-). Only when the water is boiling you should add your pasta.

  • Never add oil to your water when cooking pasta. Yes, it does help for pasta to not stick together, but it also make pasta less absorbent. Rather stir your pasta in the beginning to stop it from sticking. You should only add oil to your water if you intent to use it in a salad

  • Never rinse pasta before cooking. This removes a lot of starch on the outside, making your pasta less absorbent and it also removes the "glue" that helps your sauces stick to your pasta

  • Never ever over-cook pasta. Over-cooked pasta becomes mushy and doesn't absorb anything. Pasta should be cooked al dente. If pasta is going to be cooked for a second time, like in a broth or in a sauce, it should be Molto al dente, which means it should be slightly under-cooked. This will ensure maximum absorbance

  • Also, never rinse cooked pasta for the same reason as to not rinsing it before cooking

  • For the sake of taste, keep the pasta water and use it in your sauce or broth.

As stated before, shape also have a influence on how absorbent a pasta is. Macaroni is more absorbent than spaghetti as macaroni have a bigger surface area than spaghetti compared to if they are the same size.

  • Re: "macaroni have a bigger surface area than spaghetti". Comparing same weights, I suppose. Are you sure? – Dr. belisarius Aug 10 '14 at 5:26
  • This was just a comparison yes. Will update my answer – Pieter Goosen Aug 10 '14 at 5:27
  • So the best technique is to just cook the pasta until it is still relatively undone in salt water. Then remove it and finish it off in the broth when it is still full of potential to absorb liquid. – l3win Aug 10 '14 at 8:01
  • Yes, that is correct. You can, if you wish, if your broth are like a watery soup, prepare that first, and then add your uncooked pasta right at the end and cook it till al dente. This way you will absorb maximum amount of liquid. – Pieter Goosen Aug 10 '14 at 8:36
  • Sorry, but I cant agree that the fine salt has no proper taste. There is almost no chemical difference between salts. When you eat the crystals, there are some perception differences based on the shape of the salt flakes, but once you dissolve it in water, its just salt. – rumtscho Aug 10 '14 at 13:57
1

I've always found rice noodles to hold huge amounts of liquid and flavour, especially when flavoured during the pre-cook soak

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